Friday, April 27, 2007

A Load of Old Rubbish

Before the sun finally set on the British Empire, to solve any major problem it was enough to send a gun boat. Now it appears that they can’t even send a garbage truck on a regular basis.
The nation is transfixed, so it seems, by the Draconian ruling that "thy trash shall only be collected every two weeks. During the interim, thou shalt wallow in muck like the beasts of the field." (Book of Blair: Chap.23.)
Of course, much of the problem is acerbated by a life style that is, in almost every respect, a throwaway society. This habit of binning everything even extends to education, health services and, of course, a decent railway system but is most heavily influenced by supermarkets, where, shopping till they’re dropping, patrons are encouraged to buy things they neither want nor need. And these are invariably sealed in impermeable (even by many humans) plastic wrapping that must cost more than the product itself, rarely bio-degradable.
Leftover food is nowadays a no-no for the kitchen recycling that was practised in earlier years. It is just chucked out to fester, awaiting the second coming – of the garbage waggon.
Some bright spark suggested that, to avoid the inconvenience of possibly creating another great stink, it should be kept in the freezer. This glibly, and incorrectly, assumes that everyone has such a device. Personally, I prefer my food to be fresh, not preserved in the manner of a Siberian mammoth. Even less tasteful when you know the garbage has been lovingly preserved alongside.
A sale of plastic carrier bags excited much attention in Britain the other day. These have been in use on the continent for years, a convenient replacement for the wicker baskets that housewives used in days of yore to cart their groceries from the shop. Our throwaway supermarket bags are all bio-degradable and our trash gets picked up on a weekly basis, in our case, organised by the mayor of our town, not by edict from Paris.
But the British, ever resourceful, have found a way. As I pointed out some time ago, if you are lucky enough to live backing on to a railway, you can just chuck your rubbish over the fence on to the embankment.
Of course, it might just be a veiled comment on their opinion of the railway system.



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